LIDWINE - Multifunctional Medical Textiles for Wound Prevention and Improved Wound Healing (2006 - 2010)

The European project Lidwine specialised in developing multifunctional medical textiles for decubitus (bed sore) wound prevention and improved wound healing. With 19 partners from nine European countries as well as Israel, the Lidwine consortium constituted a multidisciplinary team covering the full textile supply chain as well as sectors like medicine, material science and electronics.

The challenge of the project was to establish systems that prevent wounds from occurring at decubitus-risked skin areas and, if the wounds are not prevented, to ensure optimum wound healing circumstances. Additionally, wound treatment is achieved via the development of novel materials.

These include:
• trigger systems for antimicrobial agents
• fibroin films containing protease inhibitors
• biopolymer-based materials inhibiting hydrolytic enzymes and microbes
• sensors for wound infection based on biochemical reactions

Prevention of these wounds is achieved by developing functionalized textiles, including
• antibacterial coatings for fabrics, based on silver nanoparticles protected by silica coats and non-silver metals like zinc & magnesium
• electrotherapeutic bandages and stockings

The Department of Textiles was actively involved in the development of textile bandages and stockings with integrated textile electrodes for electrical stimulation together with Bota, a Belgian SME specialized in medical textiles, and Soliani, an Italian company having expertise in electro-conductive textiles.

It is known for many years that electrical stimulation of tissue results in increased blood flow and improvements in peripheral circulation. If electrical stimulation is applied via surface electrodes around the ulcerated site, it will be possible to enhance the process of healing and to reduce the number of days spent in hospitals or ‘at homecare’. Up to now, conventional self-adhesive electrodes are in use, which are usually disposed after use and thus lead to increased costs.

First prototypes of electrotherapeutic socks with integrated electrodes have been realized and are ready to be tested at the Medical Centre in Twente / The Netherlands who is the medical partner within the Lidwine consortium, as well as the University Hospital in Gent.


Prof. dr. ir. Lieva Van Langenhove ()